Letter from GEORGE W. COLLAMER to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated May 3, 1858.
Hon Geo P Marsh
I was in Boston the most of last week, I returned Saturday night, and found your letter of the 27th ult. I take the earliest opp to reply.
I cannot say that I have had any conversation with the D since I wrote you before. Indeed, I I have not. Of course I dont know how far the D will go in the way of negotiation, or compromise with the Commr. and he does not suspect that I had or should write you on the subject any way.
He express a determination to have you satisfied Said he should not, nor
did not intend to use those burnt stone, had others getting out
and th'o recommended by Silloway he had given up the idea long ago, that Silloway had misrepresented to you, that he could not rely upon him, that he was entirely incompetent c. c. that he told Mr Williams, c. that he had never spoken with a man in Montp about or c.
Now you must be prepared to hear a good many accusations and complaints on both sides. In any event I reiterate my opinion, that any thing suggested by you consistent with the Dr. powers to do, will be done, and done freely. The fact is he cannot afford to oppose your wishes, indeed I think he feels to do what you wish. He fears your influence with the Commrthe Gov. and the State. He dare not make it a policy to do otherwise.
The D is here, Silloway is now gone, but I learn expected back to
meet the Commr when they are here this week. I anticipate no bloodshed. I think there will be none.
A full investigation of the whole thing, and with explinations on both sides or all parties, will soon I think settle all things.
I deplore any trouble. We regret the thing, but really dont see any way of doing anything to settle it without your meeting and saying to the D. and all hands what you want, what you expect and then you can tell all --
What day does your board meet? Yr. with respect
G. W. Collamer
References in this letter:
Dr. Thomas E. Powers, (1808-1876), of Woodstock, Vermont, was appointed by Governor Fletcher to be the Superintendent of Construction of the 1858-1860 project, to build a new State House in Montpelier to rebuild the structure burned in 1857. He and the architect, Thomas W. Silloway, were soon at loggerheads over their roles in the project. Powers became State Senator in 1861.
Governor Fletcher named three commissioners to oversee the construction of a new State House in Montpelier: Norman Williams, John Porter, and George Perkins Marsh. Dr. Thomas E. Powers was named the Superintendent of Construction.
Thomas W. Silloway, (1828-1910), was only thirty years old in 1857 when he was chosen architect for the new State House in Montpelier. Silloway was from Massachusetts, and had worked in the office of Ammi B. Young, the architect who designed the previous building. Silloway and Dr. Powers, the superintendent of construction for the 1857 job, had worked together to design and build a new courthouse in Woodstock, Vermont, that burned in 1854.
Norman Williams, (1791-1868) was a State Senator in 1854 and 1855 before he was named by Governor Fletcher, to the committee which oversaw the construction of the new State House in Montpelier, to replace the building destroyed by fire in 1857.
Governor Ryland Fletcher, (1799-1885), was born in Cavendish, Vermont. He was the first distinctly Republican Governor of the state of Vermont, and was active in the anti-slavery movement. On January 6, 1857, during his administration, the State House in Montpelier was destroyed by fire, and he appointed a committee to oversee the reconstruction.
George W. Collamer, (1803-1865) held several positions in Vermont state government.